IMG_1382 IMG_1384 IMG_1385 IMG_1390Well, yesterday was the big day. Leah’s first day of daycare and my first day back at work. All weekend it still felt surreal that, come Monday morning, I would be going back to work and I would be dropping Leah off in the care of others, essentially, in the care of strangers. Monday morning came and I felt physically ill. With our new normal routine, hubs will drop Leah off at daycare every morning at 8 am (the church daycare is literally down the street from his office) while I go straight to work and then I will leave work at 1 pm and will go and pick Leah up. However, since it was her first day, I wanted to go with hubs to drop her off and officially meet her teachers. Whether or not this was a good idea is still unknown. Physically handing over my baby to someone else, seeing her look at me with her huge, adorable smile, and then turning around and walking away was heart breaking. I literally felt like I ripped a piece of myself off and left it in that room as I walked away. Somehow, I managed to hold back my tears until I kissed her goodbye and walked out the door. And then I let loose. Brett was a sweetheart, holding my hand and letting me have a good cry as I shakily said, “It’s just so hard.” He squeezed my hand, gave me a hug and I knew he understood. And then he physically walked me to my car, opened my door, and watched me turn the car on, ensuring that I actually did go to work instead of sitting in the parking lot and crying for the next hour. Which might have been my plan. And I’ll be honest, once I was back at work, engaged with my coworkers and the job I love, the morning flew by and before I knew it, it was time to get in the car and head back to the daycare. And seeing her smile when I walked in the room? Well, you better believe my heart just melted. So, this is new, this is change, this is hard, but I can do it. I don’t plan on working forever, but for now I know I’m doing what’s best for our family. And being at the hospital, working with the patients, my heart is there; even if a bit of it is left behind with Leah everyday.

On a much happier note, I was so excited to be able to spend some time with my old college roommate when hubs and I were in NY for Christmas. It was so crazy how it worked out, how Steph and her family just happened to be in hubs’ small hometown for a friend’s ordination the day after we arrived. I was psyched to see her little guy Niko with Leah. It is just so crazy to see a good friend, one you have known for over 5 years and being like, “Man, here we are, together with our husbands and CHILDREN.” Such a crazy, awesome feeling. Also, I have to note, I owe this girl a lot since she is basically responsible for my marriage. Steph and I were both in a class with hubs our sophomore year of college and she was the one who befriended him first. Since she was my best friend, I got to know Brett as well over the year, but if it wasn’t for her….I really doubt our friendship ever would have begun (sorry hubs). So Steph, thanks for talking to that cute blonde boy with the dimples. I owe you.

A New York Christmas

We are back home after a wonderful, long visit with Brett’s family in NY (and a wonderful, way too short visit with my family in PA). Like expected, I have a million and 5 photos from the trip that I would love to share. This was my first Christmas away from my own family and, although I missed them terribly, we had a wonderful time with hubs’ family and it was fun to experience a Christmas different from the one I grew up with. I have so much to say about our trip, but for now, here are some of my favorite pictures from Christmas Day:
IMG_1392 IMG_1395 IMG_1397 IMG_1403 IMG_1416 IMG_1417 IMG_1419 IMG_1423 IMG_1433 IMG_1439 IMG_1450 IMG_1466 IMG_1479 IMG_1490I think it’s safe to say that Leah received a LOT of love and snuggles during our 10 day vacation. And, surprisingly, the long trip away from home didn’t seem to mess up her schedule much. We had such a great time, although we were happy to get back to our wonderful FL “winter” weather. Being in NY/PA made me realize how much I don’t miss northern winters. More pictures to come and until then, happy New Year!

And we’re off

IMG_0196We are flying tonight to NY to spend Christmas with hubs’ family. We are taking a risk and flying at 9 pm, right at Leah’s bedtime. Now this could either be a genius idea, or it may blow up in our faces. She’s either going to fall asleep in my K’tan wrap pre-take off and sleep the entire time, or she’s going to lose her cool and scream the entire flight. I’m thinking there’s a straight up 50/50 chance of either one. Let’s pray for the first scenario. I’m trying to trick her by dressing her in her pj’s and nursing her right before we get on the plane. See that, Leah? Just a normal night time routine! To everyone: have a wonderful Christmas! We will be back on the 30th with (I’m sure) a million pictures to share.
Merry Christmas!!!


Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

481842_652707357745_1822500930_n 530438_10100638618380547_2050910887_n photo photo2 picstitchWe had our last Nurturing Your Newborn class of the year this week and Leah definitely dressed to impress. My aunt sent us this awesome Christmas outfit months ago and I remember holding it up and thinking that there was no way Leah would be fitting into it by Christmas. But my crazy tall baby proved me wrong and, although the waist may have been a bit loose, it fit. Which was perfect since my friend told me she had a Santa suit for her baby and there was no way we were going to pass up the adorable pairing of a baby Santa and Mrs. Claus. And what a pair they made, the cutest Santa and Mrs. Clause there has ever been!
I have loved seeing Leah grow and learn through the 10 weeks we have been going to our mommy and me class. We started when she was only 6 weeks old when she, for the most part, would sleep through the entire class. As she got older she became more and more alert, awake and involved with the other babies and now she is so happy to spend 2 hours “chatting” with her best girl friend and trying to chew the hand of her baby boyfriend. It is amazing to see how babies can socialize at such a young age and it makes me happy that I have been able so surround her with such good baby friends. And really, could she have picked more adorable babies to hang with?! Definitely not.


Oh Christmas Tree (Pennsylvania Edition)

It has always been my family’s tradition to get our Christmas tree the first weekend of December. However, since we were visiting for Thanksgiving and we are not going to be in Pennsylvania for Christmas, I demanded lovingly asked that we could go out and pick a tree the day after Thanksgiving instead. And, since I have such wonderful parents, they agreed. Unfortunately, hubs woke up the day after Thanksgiving with a 102 fever (which lasted almost 3 days) so he was forced to miss out on our tree hunting excursion. (Side note, that pesky fever followed us home, where I had it almost all this week. Miraculously, Leah only got a runny nose and a cough-oh the power of breast milk). So, I bundled Leah up more than she’s ever been bundled in her short little life, and we headed out in the snow to find us the perfect tree. There, I learned an important lesson: Our Florida baby hates the snow. And I mean a cry when every snowflake hits her cheek, kind of hate. I ended up throwing a blanket over her head to keep her precious cheeks away from that terrible snow. All that to say, our traditional family Christmas tree hunt, which has been known to last well over an hour in past years, lasted a total of 15 minutes. Picture walking into a field of trees, finding a tree that wasn’t crooked and was under 8 feet tall, and saying, “Yup, this looks great, chop it down.” It may not have been as exciting as it has been in past years, but it meant the world to me to have this story to share with Leah when she’s older; her first Buckel Christmas Tree Hunt. And that, is magical I tell you.
IMG_1064IMG_1048IMG_1058IMG_1056IMG_1089IMG_1077IMG_1069IMG_1090IMG_1093IMG_1098IMG_1101IMG_1096IMG_1104IMG_1112IMG_1128I’m looking forward to Christmas futures where we take Leah up north and she is thrilled to be out in the snow, hunting for the perfect tree to cut down. (Because I have a feeling the whole Florida tradition of “Hey, let’s go to the Home Depot and pick out the perfect pre-lit 6 foot plastic tree” isn’t going to be as exciting….) Until then, I am happy to have this memory of my little chubby baby, screaming her head off in the middle of a tree farm.
Happy December!!
PS. I thought this would be my last PA recap post, but I still have more pictures I want to share! (Such as my dad’s bday celebration and Leah meeting her great-grandma) So, in order for this not to be a million photo post, I’ll have to split it into 1 more segment. (I know, no one really cares but me).